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24 April 2023 Media Release: Preparing for a changing climate indicates that all is not bad news for the Southern Cape

Media Release: Preparing for a changing climate indicates that all is not bad news for the Southern Cape

For immediate release
26 April 2023

“A battered economy and several high profile local and global challenges such as continued power outages and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine grips South Africa’s socio- political attention and at the same time  divert vital focus away from the growing impact a of a changing climate and the challenges it already pose,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“Despite these challenges there are positive signs of sincere efforts to plan ahead, and GREF wishes to keep a clear view on climate change and the impact it has already  bestowed on the Southern Cape over the past decade, including unimaginable wild fire disasters in June 2017 and 2018, persistent drought and slow but measureable sea level rise resulting in coastal degradation, and as rainfall patterns change, the advent of episodic rain storms resulting in flash floods destroying millions of rand worth of often irreplaceable infrastructure.”

“ The present and predicted impact of climate change is well known and solutions to lessen and mitigate its impact are well chartered, but more often than not targets are difficult to achieve as government spending required to act pro- actively is subdued as a result of a shrinking local economy and a myriad of urgent socio- economic issues to address, including the needs of impoverished jobless communities, unsustainable rates of urbanization and the deterioration of South Africa’s vital infrastructure backbone including power, water, roads and railways and falling behind the global curve in modernization and technology.”

“ Despite all  the challenges mentioned,  positive progress is being made as South Africa and its citizenry does show a clear understanding of the challenges it has to prepare for, and with the private sector and private landowners investing on an unprecedented scale in ensuring their own future survival in terms of green and sustainable energy options and by putting water security measures in place, including fresh water harvesting , water evaporation prevention and reducing the presence of invasive alien plants on their land, topped by significant foreign investment packages such as western financial funding aid to assist the country towards a just energy transition are major positive strides and is setting a platform for a more sustainable future.”

GREF will be hosting its Annual Climate Change and Environmental Management Indaba on Thursday 29 June at the Nelson Mandela University George Campus.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform and climate change think tank for all those in the Southern Cape involved in active and ongoing conservation and environmental management efforts to meet up, interact and showcase what they are busy with and what they are doing in terms of planning ahead.

Photo caption: Critically endangered biodiversity in the Garden Route is under threat from climate change and rapid urbanization – Image – Cobus Meiring.


Cobus Meiring: Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Cell: 083 626 7619